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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcello Pellitteri: Acceptance

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From branches of sadness have sprouted leaves of affirmation, and these are their songs. As the first in a series of albums dedicated to Marcello Pellitteri's late daughter, Veronica (1991-2014), Acceptance marks a turning point in the renowned drummer's career that no one could have foreseen. Despite its mournful theme, the album is filled with so much light that it feels like nothing less than a catharsis. In a recent email interview, Pellitteri confirmed this impression with the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley/Carson Halley: The Wild

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Saxophonist Rich Halley, home-based in Portland, Oregon, is a relentless creator of fine and oftimes fiery free jazz, averaging, since 2010, about two CD releases per year, including Creating Structure (2015); Eleven (2016); and Outlier, (2016), all on his Pine Eagle Records label. These were quartet outings, featuring like-minded free-jazzers--trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, bass man Clyde Reed and Carson Halley, Rich Halley's son, in the drum chair. Add saxophonist Vinny Golia to Outlier to make it a quintet. And it's all ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nate Najar: This Is Nate Najar

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Hailing from St. Petersburg, FL, guitarist Nate Najar unveils his third full length recording for the Candid Records label on the simply-titled This Is Nate Najar where he touches on the music of Chick Corea and Antonio Carlos Jobim as well as delivering a straight jazz sound with several cover tunes and a couple of originals. A fingerstyle guitarist on the acoustic classical guitar, Najar is one of the few in the modern jazz genre utilizing the nylon-string guitar employing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ruthie Foster: Joy Comes Back

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To prove the point that one can go home again, Ruthie Foster returned to the small church in Caldwell, Texas, where she began, singing hymns in the choir, in search of inspiration for Joy Comes Back. For Foster, singing gospel and soul is a birthright, blues and country her second nature; the vast Americana musical landscape being her backyard. After years on the road, Foster chose to record at neighbor and producer Daniel Barrett's studio in Austin, giving ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mahavishnu Orchestra: Apocalypse

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Well, there's not much to say about the new release of Apocalypse. Well, not as much as many Mahavishnu fans had hoped; rumours of a long awaited and much needed remastering of this legendary album, making the rounds of the mailing lists were alas, premature. So what is this CD? Answer: it's the exact same, level-for-level digital copy as Sony (né Columbia)'s previous release--slapping the audio files into your favourite audio comparison remastering detection software, and positioning the track profiles ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Casey: The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door

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Making his recording debut with much anticipation, saxophonist Mike Casey delivers an inspiring performance on The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door featuring four re-imagined standards from the likes of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Kurt Weill and Jackie Mclean as well as three originals from the band. A graduate of the University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music, Casey, drummer Corey Garcia and bassist Matt Dwonszyk have been performing regularly for three years prior to this recording.

BOOK REVIEWS

Nothing but Love in God’s Water by Robert Darden

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Nothing but Love in God's Water--Volume 1: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement Robert Darden 224 Pages ISBN: # 978-0271050843 Penn State Press 2014Critic Ed Ward's The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1965 (Flatiron Books, 2016) is a history written with a very even and broad horizon in mind. Bigger than the blues, country, and soul: rock & roll is an internationally large tent ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dialectical Imagination: The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture

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The title The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture may conjure an elaborate theatrical vocal production but it is neither that, nor anything else that is even remotely familiar. Pianist/composer Eli Wallace and drummer Rob Pumpelly make up the duo Dialectical Imagination and describe their blend of free improvisation and chamber music as “ecstatic music," a description that--more often than not--is a surprisingly concise account of music that is rarely as succinct itself.A California native, now ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Noble / Kristoffer Berre Alberts: Coldest Second Yesterday

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Saxophone/drum duets tend to bring out the devil in people. Norwegian reedman Kristoffer Berre Alberts' approach might come as a surprise for those familiar with him only through his work with bands such as Snik and Cortex. Here he explores the edges to the exclusion of almost all else, with barely a conventional pitch among the false fingering and overblowing. But his companion Steve Noble is one of the most rhythmic of European free drummers and his presence ensures that ...


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